The thunder clapped its hands while Ram's mother was in labor. Start to finish, there was applause as if some omnipotent being was cheering her on. She wept and cried out for it all to be over, to get whatever was inside of her, out. It was never her intention to have a baby. It became her duty to work in the fields in order to make a living for her and her father, who fell out of commission permanently due to an unfortunate accident with a scythe. Simply put, a baby never felt like a feasible option for her and her boyfriend; they were out of wedlock and times in District Eleven were looking grim. No need to add a little one to protect.
She screamed for her lover, who ran to what seemed like the other side of the world to avoid the shame of a bastard son. He did not answer.
She screamed for her father, who told her that her actions were devious, not to mention irredeemable. He did not answer.
The only ones to answer were the thunder, roaring and throwing raindrops up against her home's wooden panels, and her baby boy who now wept with her.
Wept for her.
She named him Ram.
Ram Tapsol grew up weeping. The kids in school always referred to him as weak for it, too. Showing his emotions was not acceptable, they said to him. Yes, the kids who picked their noses and sneezed into their hands before offering a greeting, deemed his actions unacceptable. Loud-mouthed know-it-alls, that's all they were. They'd soon see their own hypocrisy and cry wolf when their houses were on fire. Revenge strikes like lightning, and Ram is the thunderous applause.
Perhaps they'd be able to show empathy if they knew why he wept every day. He didn't weep from their words, their actions, nor their attitudes. He cried neither on the days where he scraped his knees running home from school nor the nights when he went to bed hungry.
Ram wept because he was alone. His mother worked day in and day out, trying to scavenge up enough money to support her father, her son, and herself. One working for three in Eleven was nearly impossible. Ram never saw his grandfather as he never opened his door for him, even when Ram slipped an envelope of dollar bills under his door. Seventeen years and all he knew of his grandson was the sound of his knuckles banging up against wood. As for his father, well, Ram has only seen him once in a photograph, and even then, he could only get a quick glimpse before his mother snatched it away and let it burn with the firewood.
There is no plan for Ram. No future. No purpose. Especially not now, with the rebellion being suppressed and new rules being put in place. Any sense of dignity or individuality is gone for good, along with decades of history in District Eleven that burned during the Rebellion's fires.
The series of unfortunate events that have isolated him from the rest of the world have collapsed all at once. The lack of a father. The rejection of a grandfather. The distance of a mother. The rise of a stricter life in District Eleven.
Forlorn. Afraid. Empty.
So go along your merry way and clutch your pearls, nose-pickers and ass-kissers, and pardon Ram if he weeps.